Stagnation versus Change
In the case of a company that is stagnant, in danger of becoming so, or in actual trouble, new thinking is essential, and it will not come from someone who “knows how things are done” without questioning them. Even a company that is growing is eventually going to slow and stagnation of growth lags stagnation of thinking as momentum continues even when the company has stopped innovating—Sony was a great example of that, as was General Motors before it was bailed out.
Good financial performance continued even when fresh thinking had died. It happened with Gateway, Dell, Motorola, and Nokia and people are asking if it is happening with Apple.
While a company can reinvent itself with insiders, 182 year old Procter & Gamble shows how it is very difficult and how bringing in smart people with very different experiences can be invaluable. This is why managers who were trained at Procter & Gamble, GE, and McKinsey are in such high demand.
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